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    Ray Tomczak
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Making It Official
Well, it's been a couple of weeks since I've posted a strip, and now I'm making it official: "Wasted Potential" is going on hiatus for the foreseeable future.

I'd like to thank everyone who's been reading this strip for the past four years. Hope you've enjoyed reading the strip as much as I've loved writing and drawing it.

Thank and Good Night

Ray Tomczak
Yep, I've decided to reward any readers out there who as big a geek as Normie is...The first person who e-mails me at and can correctly explain the "M-5" reference in today's strip will win...something. How about an original drawing of the WP of your choice? Sound good?
And I'll throw in a copy of "More Wasted Paper", the book collecting the 2nd year of the strip (I haven't gotten around to collecting the 3rd year yet. Sorry)
Look forward to hearing from nerd-dom assembled!
I may be showing my age with this strip.
I probably should have gone for a relatively more recent pop culture reference.Name dropping the Comedy Central show "Dr. Katz: Professional Therapist" would have just as well, and perhaps made me look slightly "hipper" (because I really do care about such things). But I like "The Bob Newhart Show" better, so there it is.
By the way, just in case you're curious, I looked it up on Amazon, and "The Bob Newhart Show" is, in fact, available for home viewing on DVD.
Know Your "Party Guests"
The guests at Norm's party are:
From Wasted Potential: Amy, Bill, Paul, Dawg, June, Alex, Tina, Amanda, Norman and Eileen Burns, and Braddock.
Hiding in the background is Irving McKenzie, from my earlier comic series Dr. Bob and Irving.
Other people's characters attending:
Tim Kelly's Zook and Max
Mike Carroll's "Accidentals"--Burn, Blow, Dirt, and Drip
Charles Darwin as seen in Jay Hosler's The Sandwalk Adventures
Pam Bliss' Radiation Man
Kel Crum's Ed Thudd and Cornelia
Greg Hyland's Lethargic Lad
Larned Justin's Charlie Chong
Brien Wayne Powell's Magnet Man
Matt Feazell's Cynicalman
Matt Wyatt's Buck Trenz
Bob Corby's Mike Blues
Erik Hodsen's Chad the Fat Kid
Wrong Again
So, does it seem like this strip should have gone before last week's?
That's because it should have.
I uploaded the wrong strip last week, so this is the strip you should have seen then and the strip I put up last Sunday is actually this week's installment.
I considered just putting up this strip and seeing if anyone noticed.
By the way, I had caught the mistake by the time I uploaded the strip to the Facebook group, so the strips appear there in the proper order.
Now, of course, you have a reason to buy my next book this spring so you can read the strips in the right sequence.
Hard Truths
Is it August already? Gee, 2009 has flown by, hasn't it?
Anyway, I guess it's time to start wrapping up this year's on-going storylines. This strip begins the resolution of the Norm/Amanda "romance" plot.
Minor Technical Difficulties and the Advantages of Keeping a Sketchbook
The strip's a little late. Sorry about that, but, as is my habit, I crashed at my sister's place last night following the monthly poker game we hold there, and I had some difficulty logging on to Smack Jeeves from her computer. Once I got home, though, I had no difficulty accessing the site, but it has been running a bit slow for me.
Anyway, here's today's strip, which is a prime demonstration of the reason we cartoonists and other artistic types keep a sketchbook. I was just doodling in mine a while ago and I did a little sketch of Amy looking upward. Immediately, the words she says in this strip popped into my head, and the exchange between Bill and Norm followed pretty quickly.
Thoughts on "Deflation"
The idea for this strip came to me as I was inking last week's strip. Ironically, I drew Bill's nose huge in this one.
I had a tough time thinking up a title for this strip, but settled on "Deflation", as it really is about the deflation of Norm's ego by Bill, which is really Warner's main function in the strip.
Bonus Strips
This is the first "guest strip" in Wasted Potential's history. I work so far ahead that I don't need fill-ins to make deadline, so I don't solicit guest artists, and until Jonathon Riddle presented me with this strip a couple of weeks ago, no one's volunteered any. It's flattering actually, that someone not only thinks enough of the strip to want to pay homage in this manner, but that Jon has obviously been paying enough attention to it to capture not only the looks of the characters but a very close approximation of the strips style of humor. Like many WP strips, this one is based on a real conversation which occurred while Jon and I were watching "Prom Night", a film I was surprised that Jon, horror movie devotee that he is, had not previously seen.
By the way, you shall soon be hearing much of Mr. Riddle. He is currently working on illustrating a Graphic Novel set during WWII in Czechoslovakia, entitled "Five Plums". He expects to have the art finished early next year, so it'll probably be early 2011 before the book shows up on store shelves, but after that it's just a matter of Jon and writer Terry Eisel showing up to collect their Eisners, Ignatzes and SPACE Prizes.
Trust me on this.
Open Mouth Insert Foot
Sometimes being utterly socially inept pays off. At least I can get a strip out of it.
Blurring The Lines
Because WP is somewhat autobiographical, when I showed this strip to my friends after I finished it, the first question they asked was if something like this has ever happened to me.
No. No woman has ever said that to me. Out loud, at least. I'm sure quite a few have thought it.
Shout Out
Thanks to Mike Lucas, the "big mouth wise guy" mentioned above, for pushing me to do this strip. You can see Mike's strip, "The Idioms" in Bob Corby's "Oh, Comics!" anthology, available at his web-site
Shout Out
Big Thanks to Mike Lucas, the "big mouthed wise guy" mentioned above, for pushing me to do this strip. Mike does a great strip of his own called "The Idioms" which, sadly, is not, at present, on-line, but you can read in Bob Corby's annual collection of independent comics, Oh, Comics! Check out Bob's web-site,, to order yourself a copy.